Sun, 20 Sep 2020

England name 17-strong squad for Test tour of SA

07 Dec 2019, 23:42 GMT+10

Cape Town - England's selectors have named a 17-strong squad for the four-match Test series against South Africa starting at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Boxing Day, December 26, 2019.

According to the England Cricket Board (ECB) website, three players, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood, all return to the Test set-up.

Lancashire seamer Anderson sustained a right calf tear during the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston in August.

Durham quick Wood, who along with Anderson is currently involved in a dedicated fast-bowling camp based in Cape Town, is recovering from a left knee injury and side strain sustained during the Cricket World Cup final in July. He last played Test cricket in February, where he was named player of the match in England's last victory away from home against the West Indies in St Lucia taking six wickets in the match.

Yorkshire batsman Bairstow, currently working on his batting at the camp in Cape Town, returns to the squad having missed out on selection for the recent two-Test series in New Zealand.

Lancashire seamer, Saqib Mahmood, misses out on selection having been part of the Test tour of New Zealand.

Commenting on the selection of the squad, National Selector Ed Smith, said: "With James Anderson and Mark Wood returning to the squad, Saqib Mahmood is the unfortunate player to miss out.

"It is not predicted that Mark (Wood) will be available for selection for the earliest matches. However, he will travel with the team and continue his rehab work with the medical staff on tour. There is no exact date given for his return, but the medical team is working towards him becoming fully available for selection during the tour.

"With that in mind, and given the extended period that James and Mark have had on the sidelines due to injury, it was sensible to have a 17-man squad.

"Moeen Ali, who asked to take a break from Test cricket last summer, remains unavailable for Test selection.

"Jonny Bairstow returns to the England squad after missing out on the New Zealand tour. Jonny, Mark and James are already in South Africa on a training camp ahead of the Test tour."

The four-match Test series forms part of the ICC World Test Championship and will be the first time in the competition that England have played away from home.

Joe Root's team will be looking to close in on India and Australia, who are currently leading the standings.

The top two teams at the end of the two-year cycle will compete in the ICC World Test Championship final in England in June 2021.

England squad:

Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Dominic Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

England Test tour of South Africa 2019/20:

December 17/18: Two-day warm-up match v South Africa Invitational XI - Willowmoore Park, Benoni

December 20-22: Three-day first-class match v South Africa 'A' - Willowmoore Park, Benoni

December 26-30: 1st Test - SuperSport Park, Centurion

January 3-7: 2nd Test - Newlands, Cape Town

January 16-20: 3rd Test - St George's Park, Port Elizabeth

January 24-28: 4th Test - Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg

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